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Home Software [Review] Sumatra PDF Reader

[Review] Sumatra PDF Reader

by Ryder Lund
Sumatra PDF Reader Review

Sumatra PDF is a free PDF reader for Windows that places a high priority on having a simple user interface. In addition to PDFs, Sumatra PDF can also be used to view a variety of other document and ebook formats, such as ePub, XPS, DjVu and CBZ files.


  • Easy to use and simple interface
  • Can display several different file types
  • Fast and lightweight program

  • Only available on Windows
  • Not really any features beyond those for viewing files

What Sumatra PDF Reader does best

For those with a wide variety of ebooks, documents and other such files to read and view, Sumatra PDF is a great piece of software. It opens files quickly and makes reading and navigating through them rather easy. Tools for making bookmarks and organizing files are some of the ways Sumatra PDF accomplishes this.

As for the types of files supported, the often used document and ebook formats of PDF, ePub and Mobi can be viewed, along with less widely known ones like XPS, DjVu and CHM. The comic book formats CBZ and CBR are also supported.

Going back to Sumatra PDF’s speed and lightness, being a mobile application is one of its unique features. Meaning that it can be put on a USB drive or other portable media and run directly from it, no installation needed.


Sumatra PDF has most of the features you’d expect from a free PDF viewer in it’s minimalist but intuitive top toolbar. This includes page navigation, continuous and single page viewing modes, zoom controls and a search bar. You can of course open new files and print from the one currently open as well.

Through the menu in the top left corner you’ll find a wide array of options, including more view options like page rotation, as well as presentation and fullscreen mode. More navigation and zoom options can be found here too, as well as the favorites tool for saving pages to be able to quickly go to later. Most of these options can be used with keyboard shortcuts as well.

From settings you can go to the options menu and change things like the default zoom and layout, how settings are remembered and if Sumatra PDF will automatically check for updates. Advanced options opens a text file that contains many advanced, very technical settings that most users would not need to adjust or even want to mess with.


Sumatra PDF is completely free and open source software. Although if you wish to, you can donate to them or become a backer through Patreon.

What users have to say about Sumatra PDF Reader

Being one of the more popular free PDF readers, people have a lot of good things to say about Sumatra PDF. One of the most often said, unsurprisingly, is that it’s both fast and lightweight. Some have even said that it starts up nearly instantly and opens files the fastest of any reader they’ve used.

Other commonly stated positives are the wide variety of file types it allows you to view, that it’s simple and easy to use and that it’s a free and open source program. Several users also find the portable edition of Sumatra PDF handy, being able to plug in USB drive and run it on any Windows PC.

Software details

Sumatra PDF is available in installable and portable editions for both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows. Sumatra PDF is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. Windows XP support is available as well on an older version.

Bottom line

While it may not have all the features other free software has, Sumatra PDF is a great simple and fast program for easily viewing PDFs and much more.

Our score: ★★★★☆ 4/5